So…who else around here posts photos online (whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) specifically for the likes? I know I’m guilty of it.
With so many beautiful or fun or successful posts floating around, it can be hard not to get jealous of other people’s lives. I have a Facebook friend (someone I knew in college) who lives in Germany and spends his time posting pictures of him in every country I wish I could visit. In the meantime, Dom and I are at home struggling to find a weekend to travel a couple hours for a small weekend getaway. I have friends whose kids are forever dressed to the nines, friends who have amazing, bright, airy Instagram photos, and friends who look so put together that I’m left looking down at my yoga pants and running my hands through hair that hasn’t been washed in two or three days.
All I can think is this: How could I not be jealous? If the photos of their lives are this great, clearly they are living a thousand times better than I am.
When I feel this way, I end up trying to take a photo with a goal of getting X amount of likes, or I tweet knowing good and well that I’m only doing it so people will notice.
I recently read a business-related blog post about developing your Instagram to reflect an image you love. For example, if you’re all about black and white images, you only post those. Do you love bright, airy, floral photos? Don’t post anything that doesn’t fall into that specific category. It helps you create your look or feel, so to speak, and it makes for more likes, comments, and followers.
For business purposes, it’s a great idea. After all, you want your business to have a certain style. This helps bring in new clients, maintain your image, and keep those followers we know and love.
But isn’t it also sort of fake?
I love the idea of having an online presence that is beautiful, catches the eye, and makes you wish you could jump right into the photo…but it’s not real. It doesn’t reflect that maybe you’re having a rough day, the weather is terrible, you spilled coffee on your pajamas that you haven’t changed out of (and it’s now 11:15 in the morning), or that your toddler is just being inconsolable. It’s not the truth—it’s just an image. It’s a way of getting likes, making yourself feel better, and building your self confidence.
You see the crappy morning you’re having and you decide to post a photo that is shared specifically to make you feel better about your life.
I’m not saying we should all go around complaining about how hard our lives are; after all, nobody wants to read that. I get aggravated by Facebook whiners as much as the next girl, but I also think we shouldn’t let what our online personas say about us to be a way to validate our self-worth.
I think we should embrace our homes, family, and friends, messy flaws and all. We should stop buying things just because they would look good in an Instagram photo with the Mayfair filter. We should stop letting 50-100 likes on an image make us feel better about our real lives, and we should start focusing on feeling comfortable with our yoga pants, dirty hair, and toddler who is still rocking pajamas at three in the afternoon.
The wonderful people we are comes from how we treat others, how much we care for our friends and family, and the ways in which we make our loved ones happy…not the fact that last week, fifteen people retweeted us discussing our workout or talking about how totally amazing our husbands are.
Enjoy your life for how much you love it, not how much others do. In the end, it’s all that really matters.